May 11, 2016

Save The Animals: Pit Bulls

Welcome back to our Save The Animals clinic!

For the past few weeks I've been taking everything I know about misunderstood bully breeds and molding it into one research paper. I've decided to share it with you. I'm sure there are people reading this who might have misconceptions about bully breeds, and that is totally okay, but please don't rant. I'm hoping this paper will help you feel more at ease with these dogs to a point where you can understand them.

I know this is long, but I'm hoping it will captivate you enough to read a good amount of it. It took me a long time!

Enjoy!

To begin, the standard of the Pit Bull says that a Pit Bull is a confident, alert, and gentle companion. These dogs were never bred for the fighting ring, but for the average household and for a knowledgeable person’s heart.


The Pit Bull was originally bred to watch over children and be their loyal companions. The temperament of the breed hasn't changed one bit, contrary to what many people think. However, these dogs have become more versatile, which is both a good and bad thing.


One well-known purpose of the breed is the sport of dog fighting. They began to be bred for the particular sport by people who obviously had no love for dogs. In this sport, two dogs fight to the death as many watch in amusement. Though this sport is outlawed, some have continued to secretly practice the sport, keeping the ASPCA on their toes for the last several years.


So, maybe you're interested in learning more, but you're still wondering if these dogs can be trusted. If you hear stories on the news about Pit Bull attacks all the time, let me tell you something. First, those Pit Bulls may or may not of had good lives before. Those dogs could have been teased or felt threatened before unleashing their power.


Suppose a Pit Bull, a Labrador Retriever, and a Chihuahua take a bite out of someone. Which story will make it to media? The Pit Bull story, that's right. For example, if you have watched a dog trainer's show before or if you have engaged with a dog trainer, you'll probably end up hearing about dog bites, and many, if not all of those stories had nothing to do with Pit Bulls. Oh, and you never saw those stories on the news. Watching shows like Dog Whisperer or Cesar 911, you'll hear about dog attack victims, and those people were bitten by all different breeds, and those stories didn't make it to the news at all. Some breeds like Chihuahuas and Dachshunds (not that Chris would ever hurt someone!) are more likely to snap at someone.


Also, if you were to search the news for dog attacks, you would mostly end up seeing results about Pit Bulls. The media doesn't care if a kid gets bitten by a Dachshund or a Pointer. The news has no idea that the truth behind Pit Bulls isn’t very haunting, so they find the Pit Bull stories the most compelling, and so do the viewers. Plus, Pits are massive dogs who are more likely to cause more damage towards a person.


Now you may be wondering why so many Pit Bulls are in shelters. Most people think that there are so many shelter Pits because everyone ends up having bad experiences with them and throw them in the shelter to die. It isn't that more Pit Bulls enter the shelter than any other breed. More Labs may enter the shelter than Pit Bulls, but Labs are more likely to get adopted, leaving the shelter jam packed with poor Pits looking for loving homes.


Also, statistics say that you're 16 times more likely to drown in a 5-gallon bucket of water, 60 times more likely to die from falling coconuts, and 200 times more likely to die from taking aspirin than to be attacked by a Pit Bull.

And if anybody tells you that Pit Bulls have locking jaws...it's a myth. Yes, these dogs have the second strongest jaws in the dog world, the first being the Rottweiler. Some people have said that it's a lot safer to adopt a Pit Bull as a puppy than as an adult, but honestly, getting a full-grown Pit Bull is sometimes better than getting a pup. With a mature Pit Bull, you know what you're getting into, though getting a puppy isn’t exactly dangerous, because you can help mold the dog into what he should be.


It isn't necessarily true that you're better off getting a Pit from a breeder than from a shelter. Well, if your pup is from a reputable breeder, you can be certain that your dog hasn't come from unfortunate circumstances. Also, you can probably meet the dog’s parents, and their temperaments have likely been passed on to their puppies. However, because not many people adopt Pit Bulls from shelters, many Pits haven't been abused and mistreated there. They just happen to come in occasionally, but they rarely find homes. Like I said earlier, adopting a fully-grown Pit is sometimes the best thing to do, not that getting a puppy is necessarily dangerous. It all depends who the person is and if you have time to properly socialize a bouncy puppy.


I have met several Pit Bulls. I've seen some in our neighborhood and at our local Petsmart. Though a handful of those Pit Bulls have been from breeders, the sweetest, gentlest one I've ever met was found as a stray with demodectic mange and was in the shelter, her past unknown. This can give you an idea that getting a Pit Bull from a shelter isn't very risky. It's best to get from a shelter anyway because over half of Pit Bulls that enter shelters are euthanized. For some it's because they have been there for a while, but some shelters euthanize Pit Bulls immediately after they enter the shelter just because of their identity.


Many Pit Bulls aren't always good guard dogs. They love humans too much, but sometimes they love their own humans to the point they'll protect them from other people. Pit Bulls beat out most other breeds in the American Temperament Test, including the Golden Retriever, Beagle, and Schnauzer, a few select breeds known for their gentle, outgoing demeanor.


As I said earlier, you'll see lots of Pit Bulls in the shelters, but a good bunch of those Pit Bulls aren't Pit Bulls. You probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Many bully breeds are marked as Pit Bulls at the shelter. Whether it’s an American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Bull Terrier, a Bulldog, or a Boxer, they all have a similar appearance, but many of those dogs aren’t Pit Bulls at all.


Some people say that the Pit Bull is not a breed, but a type of dog, as I explained to you above. However, the Pit Bull is truly the American Pit Bull Terrier, but the breed’s name is shortened to Pit Bull so often that many have no idea that it’s the same thing as the Pit Bull term loosely used by most people.


Contrary to the beliefs of many, the Pit Bull is not unpredictable, that is, with the proper training. If a dog came from a terrible past, a dog could still have insecurity nurtured in his or her past life, where certain situations can bring up bad memories and make the dog feel the need to defend itself. Also, a Siberian Husky is more likely to be unpredictable because of their close relation to the wolf, but the Siberian Husky is extremely trustworthy, so this statistic is nothing to worry about. The Shih Tzu, another closely related dog to the wolf (yes, I’m serious) is also harmless.

If you’re wondering why all of those sweet family Pit Bulls suddenly turn on their owners, well, there’s a reason for it. Often times, when somebody is bit by their own dog or somebody else’s Pit Bull, it’s because they don’t recognize signs of insecurity or aggression in their dog that lead up to the attack, especially if the bite victim is a child. This is the same with all breeds, from the mighty Pit Bull to the playful Jack Russell Terrier.


I encourage you all to help and love on Pit Bulls with me!

You can....

Donate to a Pit Bull rescue or breeder.

Educate your children on how to behave around dogs, especially strange dogs

Educate others about Pit Bulls

Take your Pit Bull out in public if he's well behaved to show everyone how sweet Pits can be (if you have a Pit Bull of course!)

Show Pit Bulls affection!

Share your thoughts about Pit Bulls on social media

Share adoptable Pit Bull profiles on social media

The possibilities are endless!

I hope you all enjoyed my argument, and let's not bully breeds anymore!

8 comments:

  1. It's so sad there are so many pit bulls in the shelters. Our friend volunteers for a pit bull rescue
    Lily & Edward

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  2. All dogs are created equal….its the peeps that cause the problems.
    I finks you're doing a wonderful job here!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  3. Hari OM
    Hoorah hoorah...!!! This is all so very very true Robin... the only two times I have been attacked (and I am very experienced around dogs) was from a toy poodle (my aunt's) and a mini-foxy (my best mate's); both of them were being territorial about their family - so you can never really know with ANY dog when it suddenly decides to have bit of you. Here in UK, the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the one which gets the sort of focus the Pit does in US; and it's a darn shame. My own darling angel Jade (in Australia) was half Staffy crossed with Rhodesian Ridgeback and folk used to look sideways at her and ask me "is that a pit bull?"... WTH??? Not even close mate!

    Another great post m'dear!!! Huggies, YAM-aunty xxx

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  4. A wonderful post! Yes, it is the people who cause the troubles!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  5. We have a 'vicious' Pit Bull cousin who melts when anyone comes near her....so gentle..even though she had bad experiences BEFORE she came to her forever family.

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  6. What a great and very well informed paper! We just hate how some dog breeds are discriminated against, especially pit bulls!

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  7. It makes me sad that so much people say "uuuuh they are sooo dangerous"... maybe some are... but not because they are evil, humans made them to a weapon... it's not easy in europe to get a pit bull terrier or a staffie, there are strict rules for the dogs and the owners, they have to pass a test first and there are random controls.

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